Frankie Simmons, or @heyfrankiesimmons on Tiktok and @frankiedoodledandy on Instagram, has become a role model and a source of comfort for many online looking to be introspective about their relationship with alcohol. With her series Mocktail Summer, she teaches viewers recipes for delicious, non-alcoholic drinks, while provoking an honest, heartfelt discussion about sobriety. You don’t need to struggle with addiction to reevaluate what alcohol means to you, and you don’t need a reason for taking a step back. There are other ways to enjoy the summer and still enjoy a fun little beverage!
Frankie reflects on her experience with alcohol as something she participated in, not because she particularly enjoyed the taste or the sensation, but to fit in. Does this sound familiar? Let’s be honest, being the only one to refuse a drink at a dinner or a party can be isolating. Drinking culture is pervasive and difficult to escape at times, and wanting to participate in this kind of group activity is natural and human. Besides, Frankie points out that cocktails are also typically the most fun and interesting beverage options available in public spaces, which can be extremely limiting for those not chasing a buzz. She describes drinking in the past simply because she loves a fun little beverage, but the only interesting options were alcoholic ones. Her solution: Mocktail Summer.
Looking through her account, you can find delicious recipes such as Strawberry Lemonade Mimosa Mocktails, Non-Alcoholic Gin Fizz, Zero-Proof Negroni Sbagliato, Pomegranate Spritzers, and much more. Creative beverages are fun and refreshing, but don’t need to come with a headache (not to mention an increased risk of cancer and other diseases). Her videos are a thoughtful commentary on drinking culture, and why it’s okay to opt out.
Besides her sober content, her account promotes self-tenderness, connecting with the earth, and slow living. She has been dubbed “Internet Big Sister” for a reason. Watching her videos is giving yourself permission to remove shame from your thoughts and emotions, and approach them instead with curiosity. She says, “My feelings are here to tell me what I need, they’re not here to tell me who I am. My feelings make requests, not declarations.”
This mindful approach can be applied to our feelings about alcohol and other substances too. When you feel the will to drink, take a moment to ask yourself why. Take a moment to examine where this feeling is coming from. What need is it serving? Then make the choice that best serves you. And, if you want, mix yourself a mocktail.